Revista de Saúde Pública
Print version ISSN 0034-8910
VICTORA, Cesar G.; GRASSI, Paulo Recena and SCHMIDT, Angela Maria. The health situation of children in area of southern Brazil, 1980-1992: tendencies over time and geographical distribution. Rev. Saúde Pública [online]. 1994, vol.28, n.6, pp. 423-432. ISSN 0034-8910. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0034-89101994000600006.
Although vital statistics are of paramount importance for health planning and program evaluation, few Brazilian states have vital registration systems with either sufficient coverage or agility to achieve these goals. The present analyses, based on data from the state of Rio Grande do Sul, describes time trends and the geographical distribution of infant and child health indicators, including infant mortality rates, proportionate infant mortality, low birthweight and vaccine coverage. From 1980 to 1992, marked reductions were observed for the infant mortality rate (from 39.0 to 19.3 per thousand) and in proportionate infant mortality (from 13.9% to 5.9% of all deaths).On the other hand, the prevalence of low birthweight remained stable between 8 and 10%, with a slight increase up to 1991. DPT vaccine coverage oscillated from year to year, ranging from 79 to 99%. There was clos geographical correlation between the indices of low birthweight and infant mortality in the 17 health districts. The four indicators were combined into a single score for the purpose of identifying those health districts with the greater nedd for intervention. The southern districts, characterized by large land holdings presented the worst health indicators.
Keywords : Infant mortality [trends]; Infant, low birth weight; Vital registration.